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— A Benton County sheriff’s office shotgun that was lost by a part-time deputy has been found and returned.

Sheriff’s Maj. Rob Holly told the Benton County Daily Record that a gun shop owner in Bella Vista called the sheriff’s office Saturday to say he had the 12-guage pump-action gun.

Holly said the shop owner told deputies that another man found and took the weapon to him.

Holly said the gun appears to be virtually destroyed — but officials are glad to have it back.

The shotgun disappeared last Wednesday after an inventory of equipment held by all the office’s part-time deputies. The sheriff’s office says Deputy Mark Heiner placed the shotgun on the top of his car and drove away.

Heiner was fired Thursday because of it.

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